Photo by Brian Fox | ChompTalk

The Florida Gators volleyball team was back in action Saturday night at The Road 2 Tampa Bay Invitational. The matchup included the No. 11 ranked Gators and the Bulls of South Florida. It was a highly competitive match from start to finish, with UF edging out USF in the fifth and final set.

Match Breakdown

USF was the host team for the invitational and gave the Gators everything they could handle. However, Florida’s talent was too much to deal with in the end. Moving to 2-0 on the season, this marks the fifth year in a row that Coach Wise’ team has gotten through this first weekend of the regular season undefeated.

South Florida claimed the victory in the first set 25-22. UF kept their composure and bounced back in the second set to win 25-18. Moving to a pivotal third set, the Bulls edged out the Gators 25-22. Then, after Florida forced a do or die fifth set, their athleticism and skills were what guided them to a 15-8 fifth set victory to clinch the match.

Top Performers

Kennedy Martin is quickly making herself a household name in Gainesville. The Freshman had two breakout performances in both matches this weekend at the Road 2 Tampa Bay Invitational. Leading UF in kills for the second straight match, Martin put up a career high 27. Her performances were good enough to earn All-Tournament Team honors. With an impressive .449 hitting percentage on Saturday, Kennedy Martin was the offensive catalyst for Florida once again.

The next leader in kills was Sofia Victoria with 9. The Senior Outside Hitter will look to be a key contributor all season long. Anna Dixon also contributed as she posted 8 kills on the night at a .429 percentage.

Alexis Stucky had another elite performance posting 46 assists on the night.

Anna Dixon was the leader defensively for the Gators. Dixon posted an impressive 14 blocks at the net which was good for a career high.

Elli McKissock, Trinity Adams, Emily Canaan also contributed on defense coming up with a total of 23 digs combined.

Florida ended up finishing the Invitational with a 2-0 record. They defeated both opponents on the weekend and will look carry their momentum into next week’s matches. The Gators will continue their road trip as they travel to Stanford, California to take on the No. 3 ranked Cardinal on Tuesday, August 29. First serve is scheduled for 9 p.m. EST.

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